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What is Ad hoc

Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which, literally, means "For this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and which cannot be adapted to other purposes.

Common examples are organizations, committees, and commissions created at the national or international level for a specific or immediate task. In other fields the term may refer, for example, to a military unit created under special circumstances, tailor-made suit, or a purpose-specific equation.

Ad hoc network

Ad hoc networks refer to networks created for a particular purpose. They are often created on-the fly and for one-time or temporary use. Often, ad hoc network consists of a group of workstations or two or more wireless devices that communicate directly with each other to exchange information.

The wireless local area network (LAN) network interface adapters in the wireless devices generate Omni-directional signals within a limited range called basic service area. When two wireless devices come within the range of each other, they immediately form a two-node network and are able to communicate with each other.

Ad hoc networks usually do not have access points passing information between participants. Infrastructure networks pass information through a central information hub which can be a hardware device or software on a computer. Office networks, for example, generally use a server to which company workstations connect to receive their information. Ad hoc networks, on the other hand, do not go through a central information hub.

Generally, ad hoc network do not connect to the Internet and are typically created between participants. But, if one of the participants has a connection to a public or private network, this connection can be shared among other members of the ad hoc network. This will allow other users on the spontaneous ad hoc network to connect to the Internet as well. An ad hoc network can be thought of as a peer-to-peer network for the wireless age.

Why wireless sensors

An Ad Hoc wireless sensor network consists of a number of low cost devices that are spatially distributed across a geographical area to measure the ambient conditions of a monitored phenomenon. Each sensor has wireless communication capability and some level of intelligence for signal processing and networking of the data.

In addition to one or more sensors, each node in a sensor network is typically equipped with a radio transceiver or other wireless communications device, a small microcontroller, memory, and energy source, usually a battery.